Akwa Ibom 2015: Etiebet Kicks Against Zoning Governorship To Eket As PDP Crisis Deepens
SAN FRANCISCO, April 25, (THEWILL) â€' The founding father and permanent member of Board of Trustees of the Akwa ibom State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Donald Obot Etiebet, has kicked against what he described as the Akwa Ibom PDP's disrespect to President Goodluck Jonathan and purported zoning of the governorship slot to Eket in the 2015 elections.
He also condemned the alleged plan by a section of the party to tactically force â€¨the incumbent governor on the President as a Senatorial candidate in 2015.
The development came as the crisis in the state's chapter of the party over the successor to Governor Godswill Akpabio in 2015 deepens.
In a statement issued and signed on Friday, Etiebet condemned what he described as the deceit of the hapless members of the party that the party could select a particular zone for the governorship candidate to come from.
'If they knew they were right, how come they came up with a proviso that 'the right of any other person from other Senatorial Districts to contest for the Governorship seat in 2015″ is sacrosanct?,' he asked.
He has therefore declared that aspirants from any part of the State would not be denied nomination forms and proper processing of their applications when the time comes and so they should go about their consultations without any hindrance or mistrust.
According to Etiebet, 'I was invited to the last SEC meeting of Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on 22 April 2014 but I declined because such meetings are held in PDP Party office, not in government enclave. 'Even at the National level the NEC of the Party has never been held in Aso Rock.â€¨â€¨On the resolutions as contained in the communiquÃ© I find some of them distasteful.
'Firstly, overwhelmed by self aggrandised utopia, the SEC set out to deceive the hapless Party members that the Party could select a particular zone for the governorship candidate to come from. If they knew they were right, how come they came up with a proviso that 'the right of any other person from other Senatorial Districts to contest for the Governorship seat in 2015″ is sacrosanct?
'Does that not negate and make a mockery of their intended resolution in its entirety? However, to nip any adverse reaction from party members in the bud, I, Chief Don Obot Etiebet, CON, Founding Father and Permanent Member of Board of Trustees of PDP from the State, hereby state unequivocally that aspirants from any part of the State would not be denied nomination forms and proper processing of their applications when the time comes and so they should go about their consultations without any hindrance or mistrust.
'In 2006 over 56 aspirants from the three Senatorial Districts contested and HE Governor Godswill Akpabio, CON, emerged the winner, and he has not stopped to tell any gathering, be it political, social, cultural or business, and in fact as a campaign issue always that he was the product of the choice of the whole people of Akwa Ibom State and gone were the days when Atuekong Don Etiebet sat down in his parlour to choose a governor for the people.
'I therefore state that it should not be different now with present day awareness of democratic tenets and choice to want to let only one senatorial district produce the aspirants. After Obong Victor Attah emerged in 1998 as a PDP consensus candidate without a primary election, there has neither been a consensus nor zoning arrangement in Akwa Ibom State to choose its gubernatorial candidate.
'Since the airing of the SEC resolution in the news I have received several calls from all over the country condemning the resolution and advising that they should go out to work/canvass for their preferred aspirant instead of hiding behind a worthless resolution purportedly zoning the governorship position to a particular district of the state.
'Secondly, it is un-becoming of the SEC in Akwa Ibom State to urge the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to do the illegality and act undemocratically to 'accede' to the request of a group of people in Akwa Ibom North West (Ikot Ekpene) Senatorial District to foist Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio on the District 'to represent the zone, and indeed, the State in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2015″ in exchange for the Governor's 'continuous support to Mr. President and the Party, both at the national and state levels'. That is certainly some food for thought for Mr. President and the Party.
'May I ask the SEC whether the President is a delegate or a voter in the Senatorial District? I beg you, Mr President, this is deriding your office by the SEC of our Party in my State, I apologise for their not well thought out action. Or may I say this could be instructive of the things to come in the State. If they can call on the President to do that, one can imagine the levels of illegality, intimidation and harassment they may have in store for their opponents in the forth coming PDP primaries.
' I plead with you my dear brother, Governor, do not allow some overzealous supporters to lead you astray. With your uncommon transformation programmes in thousands of projects including road construction and people empowerment in the District, you should have no problem scoring 100% at the primaries. Why is the SEC therefore afraid that you may not make it to 'urge' the President to intercede? Thirdly, it is 'contemptuous' too to hear the SEC of our Party passing such a damning and abusive resolution at a meeting in the presence of HE the Governor in attendance, on the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak.
'One would have thought that with the closeness, support, love and respect HE Governor Akpabio who is also the Chairman of the PDP Governors' Forum has for the President and the Party, he should have reported the alleged intransigence of Alhaji Gulak when he visited his State to the President and tried to find out why Gulak was in his State without his knowledge and consent before he allowed the displeasure of the SEC to go public in a communiquÃ© of the SEC meeting in which he was in attendance. The SEC cannot banish Alhaji Gulak to Adamawa alone as he is Special Adviser on Political Affairs to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not for Adamawa State. That resolution smacks of absolute disrespect for the Office of the President whose appointee Alhaji Gulak is.
'Finally, I commend the National Chairman, Dr Adamu Muazu, the 'Game Changer' and his able NWC for re-invigorating and re-positioning our great Party. His avowed promise to restore internal democracy and institute free, fair and open primaries, to the chagrin of those who 'urged' presidential selection, has welded the hitherto different groups of PDP together for one big consolidated and united Party poised to re-enact the status and prowess of 1999.
'I take this opportunity to assure Mr President that Akwa Ibom State is a one Party democratic PDP State and is fully committed and focused at any time to return Mr President 100 percent at the polls come 2015 and does not ask for any conditions. I heartily sympathise with Mr. President on the present numerous security challenges facing the country and I continue to pray almighty God to abide with him to find a lasting solution to these challenges. I send my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families of the Nyanya bombing as I pray for the quick recovery of the injured and safe release of the abducted girls in Bornu State. May God continue to shower His mercies on us all, forgive us our sins and bring peace to our dear fatherland.'